Prosecutors Entered Geumsuwon Today

The prosecutors office entered Guemsuwon in Anseong in search of Yoo Byeong-eum about noon today.  According to “Hannah” and in a negotiated deal, the church members permitted about 40 people from the  prosecutor’s office inside the compound.  No uniformed police officers or journalists were let allowed to pass behind the main gate.

In the agreement the prosecutor’s office agreed that neither the Church nor “Mr. Yoo” had any culpability in the 1987 mass murder suicide at a Church affiliated factory.  If so, I don’t know that the Church gained any concession but might have gotten a reaffirmation of a previous statement from the prosecutor’s office exonerating both the Church and Yoo Byeong-eun.

Hannah gave a number of 4,800 uniformed officers.  I counted 20 buses south and 26 buses north of the compound on Rte 38.  I could not count the number of uniformed officers, by which I mean university students performing their compulsory service, in protective body armor, but certainly more than 1,000 is a safe estimate.

The police let me behind the police line when Hannah and the Church’s security motioned me through, but I did not gain entrance to the compound itself.  Hannah gave me a 20 minute recorded interview in which she said that no one felt (aside from some initial apprehension) endangered, all Church members were safe and well fed, and prosecutors were allowed unfettered access to the whole compound.   According to Hannah and judging by the reaction of some of the journalists, I was the only one who got an interview.

Hannah did not know whether Mr. Yoo was at the compound, and he, as of this writing,  has not been found.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    They should be arrested or napalmed. Or both.

  • brier

    Nice reporting!

  • http://www.eslwriting.org/ eslwriter

    It warms the cockles of my heart to see federal authorities negotiating the terms of their investigation. Looks like the beginning of a beautiful campaign: Nice Korea.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    The Republic of Korea is not a federal state. It’s a unitary state.

  • bumfromkorea

    For a second there, I thought he meant the US authorities. Made me go “WTF? What are they doing in Anseong?”.

  • 8675309

    “I could not count the number of uniformed officers, by which I mean university students performing their compulsory service, in protective body armor…”

    Don’t underestimate the Riot Police or 전투경찰. If you’re sizing them up individually and saying, “Hey, I can take this guy on any day,” you have no concept of how they operate. For starters, they don’t function like individual uniformed police officers in the American sense. Their strength is in their sheer numbers, their tactics, their discipline and in their command and control. And these are hardly “university students” in the way that you’re thinking. For starters, they’re recruited and deploy for duty in Seoul exclusively from outside provinces, so these guys might as well be on mars. Also, no matter how tough you think you are, you would be an idiot if you thought you could taken on a squad, company, let alone a battalion of these guys before you got the sh*t kicked out of you.

  • bumfromkorea

    Above and beyond, AJ. Above and beyond.

    The general Korean responses seem to be “Well, of course Yoo isn’t there anymore. Way to give them the time to destroy evidence and get their stories straight.” The government is losing more and more public trust every day, and it seems that not even disbanding the Maritime Police was enough (in fact, it seemed to have backlashes)…

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I could take 4 of them.

  • 8675309

    Sure you can!

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    우리가 남이가!
    wahahahahaha…
    http://www.asiae.co.kr/news/view.htm?idxno=2014052117004365721
    At least they’ve got some sense when they create banners, give them that.

  • Small town

    So..what you are saying… they are roman legion ?

  • Seoulgoodman

    It’s strange that they’d insist on getting a concession about the 1987 murder/suicide.

    In
    the agreement the prosecutor’s office agreed that neither the Church
    nor “Mr. Yoo” had any culpability in the 1987 mass murder suicide at a
    Church affiliated factory. – See more at:
    http://www.rjkoehler.com/#sthash.5eF2B3xi.dpuf
    In
    the agreement the prosecutor’s office agreed that neither the Church
    nor “Mr. Yoo” had any culpability in the 1987 mass murder suicide at a
    Church affiliated factory. – See more at:
    http://www.rjkoehler.com/#sthash.5eF2B3xi.dpuf

  • Sumo294

    Ty, I actually did not know this–I have some reading to do.

  • redwhitedude

    Prosecutors entered the compound as hostages?? Giving the shining example of competence of law enforcement in Korea I couldn’t help that was my initial reaction.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    “Their strength is in their sheer numbers, their tactics, their discipline and in their command and control.”

    Discipline? Command? These aren’t Marines you’re talking about – they are conscripted uni students dressed in riot gear. Watching them wander through Seoul is like watching a grade school teacher lead 5th graders around the playground. They saunter and slouch with dumbfounded looks on their faces.

    I don’t fault them for it, because they are NOT real police. They are 20-year-old kids who do not want to be there.

    I’ll give it to you that they have strength in numbers. And why not since it’s free labor. You get what you pay for.

  • bigmamat

    Maybe some American whispered in their ear….Have you ever heard of this place called Waco….

  • 8675309

    ” These aren’t Marines you’re talking about…”

    Apples & oranges dude. The Korean Riot Police aren’t an offensive force looking for a fight, and they won’t purposely get in your face even if you do deserve a kick in the head. But challenge them or use force against them on the streets during a demo, and they do have the numbers and tactics to whisk you away and make you wish you didn’t.

    So unless you absolutely have nothing better to do, or do not value your personal freedom or privileged visa status highly, I just wouldn’t tangle with them. And as to whether they are “real police” or not, that kind of thinking is to be expected from someone who has either never traveled widely, never served in the military, and/or thinks that to be a cop you have to look like Erik Estrada on CHiPs.

    And as to whether American police are the model upon which all police forces in the world should be modeled or compared to — I hate to disappoint you, but that’s not how police forces operate or are organized in the rest of the world. For example, in Europe, countries like France, Italy and Germany, etc., use paramilitary police forces — or constabulary organized along military lines — to back up city and local cops when it comes to civil disturbances and national emergencies.

    And you don’t have to be Korea to realize that using such paramilitary forces is a highly efficient and cost-effective way of providing “force multipliers” or fill-ins for the regular police, especially when numbers and tactics count the most. To wit, constabulary and paramilitary police forces are actually the norm throughout the world, as most countries fill the ranks of such units with conscripts doing their national service, which of course is the cost-effective part.

    Of course, the U.S. never caught on to this although many states used to use National Guard troops for civil disturbances; however, the Guard is inherently unsuited for this role by virtue of its training and its structure, which is more oriented to combat or combat support roles — and after Kent State in ’68, most governors and mayors are loathe to call out the Guard for anything except for disaster relief missions.

    So don’t look down on the 전경 — their less aggressive posture combined with their paramilitary structure make them ideal force multipliers for responding to civil disturbances, just like the French have their famous Gendarmerie, the Italians have their Carabinieri, and the Germans have their Bundespolizei.

    Having said that, the American concept of spending large sums of money to recruit, train and compensate lone, solitary “Robocops” operating at the nether regions of their jurisdiction, alone, in state-of-the-art, decked-out patrol car soutfitted with all the latest gee-whiz do-dads and gizmos, fits the American concept of policing vis-a-vis large swathes of highways and empty rural spaces day in and day out.

    However, when it comes to urban riot control — something like the L.A. riots back in April of 1992, or similar urban violence — the ineffectiveness of the LAPD’s and other city police department’s responses become all too apparent, as the U.S.just doesn’t have the ability to quickly and effectively respond to such disturbances with anything other than a small and highly paid force of car-bound officers.

  • 8675309

    On a good day, sure!

  • redwhitedude

    You tell the Americans about the Subway suicide in Daegu that ended up costing more than the person that was committing the act.

  • bigmamat

    So a swat team could have taken him out….I don’t see the parallel….One crazy guy on a train…or a locked compound full of people….please don’t get emotional about this and think…different circumstances…not that I think you aren’t right. Korea very likely is unprepared to handle these kinds of situations…which by the way call for different solutions.

  • redwhitedude

    With the way things get managed there is going to be awful lot of collateral damage just like the subway.

  • bumfromkorea

    Please, please try. And make sure to get someone to film it and put it on youtube.

  • RolyPoly

    Even a Conservative speaker, Cho, is mad at PGH.
    http://news.khan.co.kr/kh_news/khan_art_view.html?artid=201405210759101&code=910100&nv=stand
    He says getting rid of Marine police is a wrong move. Basically the work will be divided to different branches of the government and they have to hire back all former Marine police members anyway. He does not like PGH’s word on “Bureaucrat Mafia” and if that is the case then PGH is the head. I guess he meant “Don”.

    PGH is even hated by her own camp : Cho is one of key figures in Conservative camp.

  • bigmamat

    When you elect the daughter of a dictator at least you can be thankful there aren’t firing squads.

  • eddienj

    There may even be leaks in the Prosecutor’s Office. It’s certainly possible considering that Church has as many as 200,000 members. Yoo might be getting news of their future actions and is staying one step ahead.

    I bet if you put a big reward on his head many of his followers might not be so inspired by God anymore.

  • Aja Aja

    Well gee, let’s think about this for a moment, shall we? The entire attention was given to Coast guards as the fault for this tragedy, and everyone too busy pointing fingers and arguing over who was at fault, who’s going to even have time to catch the real criminals? Face palm over the head.

  • Bob Bobbs

    What do you call a Branch Davidian with a fire extinguisher?
    A heretic.

  • cockfucius

    does korea not have a law that punishes people for resisting arrest or obstructing investigations?

  • cockfucius

    Sewol, Subway, Failure to catch even their own citizens, great way to instill public’s trust!

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    4 Korean uni boys? Um….is this really out of the realm of possibility? These guys wear pink tshirts and carry man-purses when off duty. Give me a break.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Yeah, really neat. Too bad this is training. Then they face off against some blue collar laborers and get hurt.

  • A Korean

    A sign of rats fleeing the ship?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    They are BOYS whose only advantage is numbers. Throw enough sissies at one guy and they win. This is scalable, of course.

  • catmando1980

    While you are easily handling four of them, the fifth one comes up behind you and bashes your skull with a club. Game Over!

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Thats what I mean. You throw enough sissies at one guy and the sissies win. It may take the 5th, 6th or 10th, depending on the guy being attacked, but eventually the sissies will win. But this by no means convinces me they are tough cops. They just have the numbers and the weapons that give them an advantage.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    “…that kind of thinking is to be expected from someone who has either
    never traveled widely, never served in the military, and/or thinks that
    to be a cop you have to look like Erik Estrada on CHiPs.”

    Well one of those is correct. I do expect cops to look and act like Ponch.

  • KRAHN

    It’s weird how you keep forgetting to tell us how their cocks taste.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Seriously, how does one write an essay extolling the riot police? Are they the pride of Korea? The symbol of Korean manhood?

  • Tapp

    I think it’s just a knee jerk reaction because their dirty laundry has found it’s way to the press again. I’m willing to bet that prior to Sewol-ho, the media hasn’t discussed the murder/suicide in a long, long time. They probably just thought they were passed it and then it gets brought up again in every major publication. The publicity is the only thing they’re trying to repair. It’s not as if anything that the prosecutor said today would have any binding at all in court if new evidence came out. It didn’t sound as if the prosecutor negotiated immunity or anything.

  • bumfromkorea

    Seriously. Please try taking 4 combat police in a fight. You can even take the 선빵. Just make sure to post the results on Youtube. I might even pay to see that actually happen.

  • A Korean

    I don’t know about pride, but apparently they are pretty effective in containing/subduing urban disturbances – they honed their tactics and maneuvers during the 80s, containing and disbursing the massive and frequent street protests by college students.

    And yeah, some of the protest participants were captured, whisked away to police cells, and tortured.

  • felddog13

    washington d.c. DOES have very well trained efficient riot police.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Obviously not unarmed and when they are all dressed up and have weapons. In civies though, whats the problem?

  • Seoulgoodman

    Well, it’s good that it’s being brought up. Hopefully those who are too young to have known about this murder/suicide will think twice before joining that cult.

  • cactusmcharris

    And you’re into questioning others’ masculinity, so there must be some doubt about your own, eh?

  • Seoulgoodman

    Well, apparently not if you look at how the local national assembly conducts itself.

  • bigmamat

    The riots were in 92 that’s over 20 years ago. The regular police these days are not only decked out in the latest equipment thanks to the Patriot Act and the drug war they are well trained and ready to kill. How many Koreans get killed by cops every year? Cops kill people here all the time even when it isn’t necessary. We bring out the riot police a lot more often these days and for a lot less problematic things than actual riots. When Bush was president everywhere he appeared there were chain link fences blocks away and riot police.

  • TopHatandTails

    Are any Korean govenment istitutions not incompetent?

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    I’ve found the ambulance service of the Fire Department to be pretty good.

  • RElgin

    Yeah, the 119 guys are pretty effective.

  • Seoulgoodman

    The government is forcing some hospitals to conduct emergency drills this week. Coincidence? I think not.

  • cmxc

    LOL – Korean police

  • TopHatandTails

    Not sure I’d trust them, I’ve seen them moving injured crash victims without neck or back support in the past.

  • 8675309

    “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” Looks easy? Let’s see you pull it off Sweet pea.

  • 8675309

    Yeah, like all 63 of them. Big whooooop!

  • bumfromkorea

    1. Not every MVC warrants the use of spinal immobilization.

    2. http://m.jems.com/article/patient-care/research-suggests-time-change-prehospita

  • 8675309

    For obvious reasons, you don’t want or need “killers” let alone super aggressive types in your Riot Control units. College-type conscripts doing their national service are the most suitable types to use in anti-riot formations.

  • bigmamat

    I agree. Americans are more deadly anyway because of our ability to own guns.

  • Aja Aja

    So I heard they’re taking out another big ads in the NY Times and Washington Post complaining that Korea has no freedom of religion.

  • Aja Aja

    He was never there in the first place.

  • TopHatandTails

    Better safe than sorry. It’s not like there are paramedics trained to standards we see in western countries here.

  • bumfromkorea

    Uhh…. yes there are. Who do you think rides in all those 응급차s? 1급 = EMT basic + additional requirements/agency and 2급 = paramedic.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Its a choreographed dance. Big deal. Show us these guys do this in real situations. Sissy pants

  • bumfromkorea

    Exactly! What’s the problem? Go for it! But make sure to post it on youtube.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Hi commie.

  • TopHatandTails

    Yes, of course they are so well trained. That’s why Korean has such high levels of RTA deaths.

  • bumfromkorea

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AonYZs4MzlZbdFB6V0NLYzFHTUY3Y1VzNk9Ra0xrZUE&hl=en#gid=0

    Doesn’t seem so terrible that “It’s not like there are paramedics trained to standards we see in western countries here” is warranted.

  • bumfromkorea

    You can call me whatever you want. Just make sure to videotape your, uh, beatdown of those four sissy Korean university boys currently in combat police duties.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Of course it would be ridiculous to even attempt this and would lead to prison time and/or deportation.

  • bumfromkorea

    Oh please, you know how these Korean police are. They’re so incompetent, they don’t be able to track you down let alone arrest you after you beat the living shit out of the 4 sissy Korean 20 years olds in combat police training. And even if they come after you, you can probably beat those sissies anyway, right?

  • platethief

    Somehow, I get the feeling this wouldn’t be the first video available on the internet of him beating off four ‘sissy’ guys dressed in uniform.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Well done.

  • redwhitedude

    And public antics.

  • redwhitedude

    It would be funny if somebody took an ad out complaining about MH.

  • TopHatandTails

    Amazing, Korea isn’t number 1!

    But seriously, would you really want to be under the hands of Korean first responders? If you had to be in a car crash and be rescued without having further damage done to you Korea isn’t where I’d want to be.

    As we have seen, and are always unfortunately reminded, this county is incompetent on so many levels, I don’t trust anyone.

  • ExpatBateman

    DOWN WITH THE KLOWNS!

  • ExpatBateman

    No, Korea is a Third World country with Samsung pulling the strings. It’s all a big shiny facade. We expats know the real deal and we’re here to keep things in order. Solidarity, brother.

  • ExpatBateman

    ROFL LMAO LOLOLOL

  • bumfromkorea

    Your assessment of the Korean paramedic’s competence comes from not even a direct professional observation and evaluation of their performances, but some weird amalgam of impressions of Koreans in general. This is a stone throw away from assuming they’re incompetent because they’re Korean.

    Even when faced with statistics, your response is merely “would you really want to be under the hands of Korean first responders?”. Even ignoring the logical leap of RTA deaths = Paramedic competence, it shows that South Korean RTA isn’t so horrific that the Korean paramedic’s competence can legitimately come into question.

  • platethief

    Someone had to. The innuendo was just begging for it (and again).

  • RElgin

    It looks as if someone has allowed Yoo to escape. I wonder if this has something to do with bribes having been paid and the fear of discovery on the part of someone else in government.

  • Aja Aja

    Moms pay $1000 to professional packers to pack their kids’ summer camping gears. American Gangnam mothers in New York?

    http://nypost.com/2014/05/23/moms-hire-professionals-to-pack-kids-bags-for-summer-camp/